Cleanings and Prevention in Ashland City, TN
When it comes to enjoying a beautiful smile for a lifetime, exercising prevention through diligent oral hygiene and patient education is important. Brushing twice daily and flossing once per day is part of a collective routine that can keep your smile free of infection, disease, and decay.
Consistent oral hygiene in combination with professional guidance from James Fleenor, DMD, can make a significant difference when it comes to achieving a healthy, lasting smile.
As your trusted allies for protecting your teeth, gums, and overall dental environment, visit Ashland City Dental for gentle cleanings and compassionate preventive dentistry.
Contact us today to schedule your oral health exam and preserve your smile now and in the future!
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What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry focuses on the importance of ongoing, daily oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay, dental diseases, and other oral health conditions. Effective preventive dentistry combines at-home oral care by you with personalized treatments, counseling, and education administered by our team.
Protecting Your Smile and Your Overall Health with Preventive Dentistry
Many individuals are unaware of just how closely oral and overall health are linked. A beautiful, healthy smile not only helps you look and feel good, but it is also essential to your overall well-being.
With strong oral health, issues like cavities, decay, gum disease and other conditions are greatly reduced. This, in turn, can reduce your risk of secondary health problems that can result from the buildup of infection and oral bacteria.
Health problems that may be linked to poor oral health can include:
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Disease
- Oral and other cancers
Low birth weight in infants and premature birth may also be linked to poor oral health due to the toxins found in bacterial plaque entering the placenta through the bloodstream. If you’re pregnant, hormonal changes can significantly affect your oral health, so it is important to practice proper preventive measures.
While preventive dentistry may not eliminate your need for fillings, dental implants, or root canals, reducing the need for more extensive treatments in the future is possible.
Who Can Benefit from Preventive Dentistry?
Everyone benefits from regularly scheduled dental cleanings, exams, and dental prevention. Whether you’re a child with a growing smile, a teen in need of braces, or an adult with aging restorations, anyone at any age better oral health through preventive dental care.
How Early Should I Practice Prevention?
It is never too early or too late to practice dental prevention. You can begin cleaning your infant’s mouth with a clean, damp cloth, gently cleansing the gums until their first tooth erupts. Schedule their first dental visit as their baby teeth emerge, around their first birthday.
Why are Professional Dental Cleanings Necessary?
Our mouths have both essential and harmful bacteria. Dental cleanings are recommended every six months to remove plaque buildup, as well as to check for signs of tooth decay.
Without these regularly scheduled cleanings, the bacterial plaque in your mouth can accumulate to a degree that begins to inflame and irritate your gums as it burrows beneath the gumline. This is the beginning stages of the earliest form of gum disease, also known as gingivitis.
Gingivitis is easily reversible when caught in its beginning stages. If left to progress, it can form into periodontitis, an aggressive and damaging stage of gum disease. At this stage, you will need more detailed and specialized treatment to get rid of the infection.
How Often Do I Need a Dental Cleaning?
Professional dental cleanings should be scheduled every six months to keep your smile healthy. If you have a history of gum disease, we highly recommend scheduling your cleanings every three months.
What is Involved in My Dental Exam?
During your exam, Dr. Fleenor carefully inspects your teeth, gums, and mouth. This inspection is necessary to identify any obvious or underlying conditions that could jeopardize your oral health.
You can expect the following during your routine examination:
- We look for signs of dental cracks, chips, decay, and wear
- We check for problems with dental alignment
- We look for signs of soft tissue inflammation and gum disease
- We look for signs of damaged fillings, crowns, bridges or other restorations
- We check the structure of your jawbone and its density
- We check your inner cheeks, tongue, and lips for signs of oral cancer
If any problems are detected, we work with you to design an effective treatment plan to correct issues before they become severe.
Detecting Potential Problems We Can’t See with Innovative Dental Tools
By equipping our office with advanced, preventive dental technology, we can provide you with the best care possible for ensuring your smile remains healthy throughout your lifetime.
These innovative tools include:
Digital X-Rays - allow us to look for signs of dental problems that are not visible to the naked eye, such as cavities, jawbone damage, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts or tumors and problems below the gum line.
Panoramic X-Ray – is extraoral, meaning no plates or film is needed inside the mouth. Panoramic X-rays display the nasal and sinus passages, which are missed by traditional X-rays. The advantage is less exposure to radiation.
Cone Beam 3D X-Ray - Taken in the same way as a panoramic x-ray, this allows for three-dimensional viewing of the teeth and surrounding structures. It is also useful for the planning of guided implant placement. Furthermore, it is an excellent aid in root canal therapy.
What Preventive Dentistry Services are Available?
Detecting and treating cavities as early as possible is always important. Since cavities can hide in grooves or on biting surfaces inside your teeth, it can be challenging to catch them early.
Preventing Against Tooth Decay with Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is an efficient treatment to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally found in many foods and water supplies in different amounts. For more than 50 years, the benefits of fluoride are well known and are supported by many health professionals.
Isn’t Fluoride Just for Kids?
Fluoride has been part of children’s dentistry treatments for a long time, but did you know that fluoride also offers many advantages for adults?
Fluoride strengthens your teeth. This makes them more cavity resistant and less sensitive. Fluoride also reduces the production of acid and bacteria.
Protecting Teeth at Every Age with Dental Sealants
Sealants are thin composite coatings placed on the surface of back teeth to protect against decay. The sealant binds quickly to the grooves of teeth, forming a defensive shield over each tooth.
Reasons for Dental Sealants
Children and teenagers are candidates for sealants because of the likelihood of developing decay in the grooves of premolars and molars. However, sealants can also benefit adults who don’t have decay or fillings in their molars.
Children should typically get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth erupt. Sealants can protect teeth through the cavity-prone years between 6 and 14 years of age.
Prevention Through Communication and Patient Education
Dr. James Fleenor combines his knowledge and passion for educating you on the importance of strong oral hygiene and health. He takes the time to establish trust through respectful communication, helping you feel comfortable about your treatments as well as your role in essential dental care.
When you practice consistent oral care in between visits, you not only help preserve your oral health, but you help ensure the long-lasting function and beauty of your smile.
By taking the necessary steps to ensure you are aware of the potential oral health risks, issues, and necessary treatment, we can further help you maintain a long-lasting, beautiful smile.
What Can I Do to Protect My Smile at Home?
One of the first things people notice about you is your smile. A healthy smile is not achieved overnight but through a variety of methods. Here are seven helpful ways to improve your smile’s health and appearance:
- Brush daily- Brushing twice a day helps remove plaque that sticks to the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing also stimulates your gums, which helps keep them healthy and prevent gum disease.
- Floss at least once a day or after every meal- Flossing removes plaque between teeth and from under the gumline, where a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Invest in a quality toothbrush- Electric toothbrushes or those with soft bristles help remove plaque effectively and achieve clean, healthier gums.
- Drink plenty of water- Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body. It helps rinse teeth clean and discourages the onset of tooth decay.
- Limit alcohol and quit smoking- Alcoholic beverages are culprits for producing an acidic environment in your mouth, perfect for forming toxic plaque buildup. Smoking not only causes severe staining to your teeth but tobacco products damage healthy gums, causing them to recede and develop large pockets around your teeth. Smoking is also a leading contributor to developing gum disease.
- Choose a vitamin and mineral-rich diet- Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, and low-fat dairy are foods that help keep your smile strong and healthy. They encourage healthy saliva flow that helps neutralize acid and mineralize teeth.
- Visit your dentist and hygienists ever six months- Because many underlying health conditions manifest themselves in the mouth, your dentist and hygienist are typically the first health professionals to discover such issues.
Cleanings and Preventive Care Can Save You Time and Money
At Ashland City Dental, James Fleenor, DMD, and his team are dedicated to helping you achieve oral and overall wellness with skilled preventive dentistry services. Contact our dental practice today to schedule your professional dental cleaning and exam!
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